Galatians 6:6-10 – God Is Not Mocked
It is a rare thing to hear someone attempting to intentionally mock God in church, especially from the pulpit. It just doesn’t happen that often. I don’t know that I have ever even heard of a time that it actually happened. Intentionally.
Unintentionally, however, is a completely different ballgame. I would love to say that it never happens in our church or that I’ve never done it myself, but I would be lying. I can name specific times in my teaching that I’ve taught something based solely on my own understanding without having received insight from the Spirit. Some of those times were simply due to my immaturity in the faith and some of those times were due to my arrogance. But there can be no denying that I have openly, albeit unintentionally, attempted to mock God. Now the funny thing about the phrase “mock God” is that it is practically equivalent to an ant walking up to a person and kicking them in the toe and walking away as if they had accomplished some great victory. We as finite, imperfect beings are never in a position to look down upon God. It is never a position that we find ourselves in. We may feel that we are, but it is never the case.
So what is Paul’s point? And if this is something that we do unintentionally, how do we keep from doing it? The answer to both is found in the mystery of what Paul has been trying to communicate throughout the whole letter. When we are walking in the Spirit we do not ever find ourselves in a place where we are now in control or have a full complete understanding of any given situation. In other words, we never pretend to acknowledge that we have fully grasped the will of God for all individuals or that living by the Spirit always looks a certain way. Instead, we humbly acknowledge our need for grace and for the Spirit to open our eyes to see what is true. Only then can we sow to the Spirit. Even if good things are taught from the pulpit or done in our lives then we are sowing to the flesh if the Spirit does not lead them, and in the end those “good” things that we have planted end up being corrupted because they were done apart from the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit allows for certain things in the life of one person that it will not allow in the life of another. For instance, tattoos. It is perfectly within God’s plan to command one person to not get a tattoo while allowing another to get them to his heart’s content. We could go down the list of hundreds of issues that the people have condemned as against God’s will, that do not universally cover all people even without bringing culture into the argument.
Let me be very clear here. I am not talking about relativity here. I am not saying that every choice is defined by how someone hears from the Spirit. There are things that a believer should never do because they are outside of how God has designed the universe to be. Drunkenness, sexual immorality, homosexuality, theft, murder, and things of the like are all condemned in Scripture, and these will not be contradicted by the Spirit. But there are other peripheral issues that we must find our answers in the work of the Spirit in our lives as He unfolds the truth to us. Too often we get so caught up on forcing what the Spirit has commanded us to do on others, that we miss the work that the Spirit is trying to do in us. We become conceited and feel more holy or righteous than that other person because we never got a tattoo. It’s silliness at best. I once knew a man who felt led by the Spirit to never go into a movie store because the images on the movie covers might cause him to stumble. I always thought of him as I walked through the movie store. This man never condemned the rest of us for going into a movie store, but he would challenge us to let go of silly things in order to keep ourselves from sin. We must all be ready to give up things in accordance with the Spirit, but be careful not to look at someone else’s life and demand that they walk as you are walking when the Spirit has not asked of them what He has asked of you. We put ourselves as equal to God when we demand others to walk just like us, and in this we mock God. Now whether its intentional or unintentional is not the point. We do it. We place ourselves as the Spirit in the lives of another and plant seeds in the flesh, and those seeds will bear corrupted fruit.
I want to make sure that we are seeing everything clearly. I am not saying that we can never speak into the lives of another. Like we talked about with bearing one another’s burdens, we must be careful not to jump to our own perspective when it comes to judging someone else. Sometimes, someone might be doing something that is peripheral, but in the slavery of sin instead of the freedom of Christ. We must be sensitive to being used by the Spirit for the sanctification of another. This is always done with love and mercy. Too often we miss that aspect and come down with fierce wrath and judgment. We are to be used by the Spirit, we are not to become the Spirit for another. Lord, help us to sow by Your Spirit. And may we trust the work You are doing in the lives of those around us. I love y’all more than you know. Grace and peace,